Former New York Mayor Bloomberg avoided federal income tax: report
NEW YORK CITY – Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently avoided paying federal income tax despite being one of the richest people in America, according to a new report from ProPublica.
Secret tax records obtained by ProPublica show Bloomberg was not alone – the report details the methods used by billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffet to avoid income tax.
Bloomberg, the 14th richest American according to Forbes, paid a “real tax rate” of just 1.3% between 2014 and 2018 as his wealth increased, ProPublica reported.
A Bloomberg spokesperson provided ProPublica with a statement claiming the former mayor pays the maximum tax rate on all local, state, federal and international taxes.
“Overall, what Mike gives to charity and pays in taxes is about 75% of his annual income (of which over 95% is ordinary income),” the statement said. “In other words, he currently only keeps about 25 cents of every dollar he earns.”
But, as the ProPublica report details, the wealthiest Americans derive their wealth not from wages but from the value of their assets like stocks and property. These don’t count as income unless billionaires sell them.
The 25 richest Americans were worth $ 1.1 trillion at the end of 2018, ProPublica reported.
It would take 14.3 million “ordinary” American workers together to equal this wealth, according to ProPublica.
“The top 25 federal tax bill in 2018: $ 1.9 billion,” the report says. “The employee bill: $ 143 billion.”
Bloomberg reported income of $ 1.9 billion in 2018, but with tax cuts, donations and credits, he ended up paying $ 70.7 million in income tax, according to ProPublica.
That’s a conventional tax rate of 3.7 percent, the report says.
The ProPublica report was based on IRS data he obtained. In another story – “Why we publish the .001% tax secrets” – the editors at ProPublica wrote that they share the data selectively because “we believe the public interest in informed debate wins. on confidentiality considerations “.
A statement by a Bloomberg spokesperson warned of legal action against anyone who disclosed the information to ProPublica.
“The publication of a private citizen’s tax returns should raise real privacy concerns, regardless of their political affiliation or opinions on tax policy,” the statement said. “In the United States, no private citizen should fear the illegal release of their taxes. We intend to use all legal means at our disposal to determine which person or government entity has disclosed this information and to ensure that they are held responsible for it. “
Read ProPublica’s full report here.